The beginning of a new year normally is a time to reflect; it's all the more so when the network industry is facing (along with the rest of the economy) a major financial crisis. We are of a generation that has taken network growth for granted, that has seen the Internet reshape culture and that has come to believe that "more bits" paves the road to the future. It just might be that this comfortable view is the greatest threat we face, because networking is going to change one way or the other.
Stories by Thomas Nolle
In the world of content distribution networks, A is for Akamai. What about the rest? Is B for BitGravity, or maybe BitTorrent because of the potential impact of peer-to-peer technology on CDNs? Is C for content? I don't think so. I think it's for carrier or maybe cloud -- and in either case, the "C change" is potentially a major one for the CDN world.
There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in every industry, if you define "interesting" as the kind of thing that a practitioner of the space will jump for joy at the prospect of reading.
There has been interest in carrier Ethernet for a decade or more and -- let's be honest --more than a little hype, too. In the early days, the focus was on how Ethernet was going to displace SONET and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy as a low-level optical technology.
An interesting thing happened in 1999. The unit price of a long-distance voice call to consumers, which had been falling since the early 1980s, finally crossed over the cost curve and long-distance voice became a loss leader. This eventually led to the acquisition of the long-distance giants by the regional Bells. It was certainly one of those pivotal events in telecom history, but another 1999 event might be even more important.